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By: Jennifer Agress

Travel blogger Cory Lee has traveled the world in a powered wheelchair, documenting his adventures on Curb Free with Cory Lee to help fellow wheelchair users know how to travel, where to go, and why it’s important for people with disabilities to get out there and explore. So far, he’s been to 39 countries and all seven continents.

In April 2022, Cory made his first exploratory trip to Greater Miami & Miami Beach. We spoke with Cory to find out where he went, what he saw and what he thought about accessibility in Miami. Read on to find out what he had to say.

What made you want to visit Greater Miami & Miami Beach?

I have taken cruises out of Miami in the past, but never had time to really explore the destination until this trip. I’ve always wanted to visit – I’m a huge fan of beach destinations and I’ve heard people rave about how great and accessible Miami is for years. I’m happy to say it lived up to the hype!

What inspired you to start Curb Free with Cory Lee?

I started Curb Free with Cory Lee in December 2013 because I noticed a severe lack of information online about accessible travel. At the time, I was doing research for an upcoming trip to Australia when I realized there wasn’t much information about accessible things to do, places to eat, accommodations and more. So, I decided to start blogging about it as a way to make travel easier for other wheelchair users.

What’s a day in the life of Cory Lee?

When I’m at home, I’m writing a lot, creating content for social media, and trying to make my blog the best that it can be. When I’m not working, I love to go to concerts, watch movies and play with my two dogs. I live a pretty chill life when I’m not on the road, but I do travel about three to four months out of the year. In 2021, I spent 102 nights away from home traveling. This year, it will likely be even more.

What do you love most about travel?

I love meeting other people – especially fellow wheelchair users – and hearing their stories. Traveling and meeting others creates empathy, and I think that is the most valuable gift that anyone can have.

Are there any misconceptions about accessible travel that you want others to realize?

I think the biggest misconception is that people with disabilities don’t travel. There seems to be a notion that we are just staying home and not getting out in the world, but that is so far from the truth. People with disabilities spend over $58 billion per year on travel, and if the world had more accessibility, that number could be even higher.

Cory heading to beach
Experience inclusivity in so many ways

In your opinion, what makes Miami so special?

I think Miami is incredibly unique because there are so many varied experiences that someone can enjoy. You can go to the beach, check out world-class museums, eat delicious food from around the globe and experience inclusivity at its finest, all in one day. There aren’t many other destinations where you can do all of that.

How easy was it to get around and enjoy Miami?

I had my own wheelchair-accessible van in Miami, but it was easy to get around regardless. I was on the go constantly, and accessible parking spots were fairly easy to find. I also loved how I could get around in my wheelchair. I never had a problem with inaccessibility while in Miami, which was really freeing and made me fall in love with the destination rather quickly.

Cory at Time Out Interior
Try a variety of food at Time Out Market Miami

What were your favorite food and drink spots in Miami, and what did you order?

My favorite restaurant in Miami was definitely Hometown Barbecue in Allapattah. I had a barbecue sandwich, cornbread with honey butter, elote and Texas-style macaroni and cheese, and everything was delicious. It was seriously some of the best barbecue I’ve ever had. Other restaurants that I really enjoyed were Casa Florida in Little Havana (the coconut mojito was amazing) and Time Out Market Miami in South Beach, where I loved being able to get different kinds of food from various establishments.

Carillon Crystal Steam Room
Relax with a spa treatment at The Spa at Carillon Miami

What are some of your favorite things to do in Miami?

I really enjoyed staying at the Carillon Miami Wellness Resort in North Beach and having some relaxing spa treatments. The Spa at Carillon Miami is incredible, and they offer a ton of different treatment options. I was able to take advantage of their touchless procedures, such as the “Somadome” – the world’s first technology-enabled meditation pod – which uses color, sound and energy therapies to enhance meditation. After the spa, I went to the resort’s pool area and the beach. It was really relaxing and was one of my favorite mornings in Miami.

What were your expectations of Miami before you visited, and how did they change when you got here?

I expected Miami to have a party atmosphere pretty much everywhere. While it does have that in certain places, most of the city was calm and had good vibes. I felt really relaxed and rejuvenated when I left Miami, and that was something I did not expect before going.

How different is Miami from other places you've visited?

Miami offers something for every kind of traveler. Some cities are known for their museums. Some are known for great food. Some are known for nice beaches. Miami is known for all of that and much more.

What spot will you miss the most?

Wynwood is full of creativity and really inspired me to be more creative and put out great work. That’s a feeling that I haven’t gotten in other cities, so I’ll miss it. Wynwood is a beautiful area to wander around and explore. The street art is unbelievably good, and Wynwood Walls was hands-down one of the coolest “museums” I’ve ever visited.

What was the highlight of your trip?

The highlight was definitely getting out on the water in an accessible catamaran with Shake-A-Leg Miami. It’s a wonderful organization in Coconut Grove that is changing the world of watersports for people with disabilities, and it was so fun to spend some time with them.

What did you not get to do this time that you’re excited to do on your next Miami visit?

I’m definitely looking forward to trying out more Cuban restaurants next time, and I’d love to visit Calle Ocho in Little Havana.

See more of Cory’s adventures by checking out his blog, Curb Free with Cory Lee, and following him on Facebook and Instagram.

About the Author
Jennifer Agress is a Miami-based writer and editor who has spent her life exploring Greater Miami & Miami Beach. She covers hotels, destinations, luxury experiences, events, chefs and restaurants in Miami and beyond for Fodor's, Business Insider, Forbes, The Miami Herald, Orbitz, Travelocity, TripSavvy, Time Out, Thrillist and more.

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